News / Middle East

Military Commander, 18 Troops Killed in Iraq

Commander of the army's Seventh Division, Maj. Gen Mohammed Ahmed al-Kurwi, left, attends Ministry of Defence conference, Baghdad Dec. 14, 2013.
Commander of the army's Seventh Division, Maj. Gen Mohammed Ahmed al-Kurwi, left, attends Ministry of Defence conference, Baghdad Dec. 14, 2013.
Reuters
Militants killed at least 18 Iraqi officers and soldiers in Sunni-dominated Anbar province on Saturday, including a commander who oversaw a crackdown on Sunni protesters earlier this year, military sources said.
 
Islamist militants' posts on online forums called the slain commander, Mohammed Ahmed al-Kurwi, a "criminal" and celebrated the attack, which security sources described as carefully planned and executed.
 
Al Qaeda-linked Sunni militants have intensified attacks on Iraq's security forces, civilians and anyone seen as supporting the Shi'ite-led government in recent months in the country's deadliest violence in five years.
 
The circumstances of Saturday's attack were in dispute. The Defence Ministry said Kurwi, commander of the army's Seventh Division, and several other high-ranking officers were killed by a roadside bomb while pursuing militants from an al Qaeda training camp in Anbar's desert.
 
But other military sources said the officers were killed when three suicide bombers wearing explosive belts detonated themselves among them in the western town of Rutba, 360 km (225 miles) west of Baghdad.
 
"All that we know so far is three suicide bombers wearing explosive vests came from nowhere and detonated themselves among the officers," a military officer who was at the scene told Reuters by phone.
 
Some security officials suggested informants may have lured the commanders to the area under the pretext of raiding the al Qaeda camp.
 
No specific group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombing is the trademark of al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, which merged this year with counterparts in Syria to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
 
The assistant commander of the Seventh Division, the commander of its 27th Brigade, and several other high-ranking officers were also among those killed in the attack, sources said.
 
Another 32 soldiers were wounded.
 
Hawija's ghost
 
Militant Islamists online portrayed Kurwi's death as retribution for the killings of more than 40 people in a raid by security forces on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawija in April.
 
"The criminal who was killed today at the hands of al-Baghdadi's men was the leader of the Hawija massacre," said one user on Twitter, referring to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
 
The April raid — which Kurwi oversaw — came after months of protests by Sunnis against what they see as marginalization of their sect by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.
 
ISIL insurgents have since stepped up attacks on strategic targets in parts of western Iraq in a bid to establish a state ruled by strict Sunni Islamic practice.
 
In a separate incident, the commander-in-chief of the police force in Shirqat, 300 km north of Baghdad, was killed and four of his officers were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded by his convoy, police and medical sources said.
 
Another two soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb went off as their military patrol was passing through Riyadh, a small town near Hawija, police said.
 
In Latifiya, a town 40 km south of Baghdad, two Shi'ite pilgrims were killed by rocket fire, police said. Another two Shi'ites were killed when militants raided a supermarket in the capital's southeast.
 
Iraqi security services are expecting more attacks ahead of the Shi'ite holy day of Arbaeen next week.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid